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Fort Grira

Author File Description
Masked_Pretender
File Details
Number of Scenarios: 1
Difficulty: Hard
Version: Rise of Rome
FORT GRIRA


Defend the fortress from incoming invading armies. Help is on its way, but until then, survive.

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The scenario comes as a campaign file, which only has this one level in it. I've also included, of course, the scenario file itself. I realized I misplaced the file in the wrong category, I thought about it wrong, but I cannot seem to update the category now. Oh well.

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"Fort Grira" is the second preview of my campaign Renowned Battles in the History of Braavin, the first being Battle of Vengeance, released 4 years ago. I promised a member I would release something new before the campaign, and this is the closest one to finishing, and it has a really really special place in my heart, so I decided to polish it a little and make it public.

It lacks a relevant story and the instruction map is kind of iffy WIP, but it's fully completable.

Fort Grira is an action packed adrenaline rush, in the style of "defend the flag". I've playtested the main "help is arriving" mechanic in all difficulties, and it works. However, to fully enjoy the level as intended, play it on difficulties moderate and up.

I've also included the scenario file, and the AI/PER files used. I always wished I had some sort of reference for making these files, and the resources were always scarce. Maybe there's someone out there whose curiosity I might satisfy.

Until the full campaign is out, I hope you enjoy this release!
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Fruktfisk
Staff
Hey it's that guy that made that thing I liked! I'll look forward to having a look at this! :O
Masked_Pretender
File Author
Hope u enjoy, looking forward to the review 🙌
Fruktfisk
Staff
Rating
4.4
Breakdown
Playability4.7
Balance4.1
Creativity4.6
Map Design4.9
Story/Instructions3.7
I never said I would... Oh well, guess I'm doing two reviews in a week then.

Playability: 4.7
Ahh... defense scenarios. I'm confident there's a playerbase out there who comes looking specifically for them. I know I was very fond of the idea when I was younger and messed around quite a bit in the editor trying to make one, and it's surprisingly hard to do well. Much like Luna Lynn's Fresh Lands which I reviewed a couple of years back, this settles for the classic "defend your wonder" approach, as nothing seems to aggro computer players quite like a wonder, even when there's no countdown. Comparisons between the two easily come to mind. The core differences being that Fresh Lands was all about melee units and forced the player to manage an economy behind the defenses, while Fort Grira is dominated by ranged units and gives the player practically infinite resources. As such it focuses a lot less on macro and more on unit control and hitting targets with your catapults. If I have any complaint it is that when facing a unit composition of Heavy Cats, Heleopolis and HCA, Heavy Cats of your own become seem to resolve every situation, and there isn't really any incentive to strive for an army composition of any kind, it's just cats and towers.

Balance: 4.1
My core problem with defense scenarios in AoE is that it always feels hard to maintain a pressing situation for the player. Way too often, I feel like I can settle into a sense of comfort and control at some point after a number of minutes. While the unpredictability and destructivity of HCat hits certainly means you have to be constantly active, I don't find this to be any exception to that rule at length. That said it is a hard type of scenario to balance at its core, and this attempt is not bad by any stretch of the imagination.

If I could speculate a bit on possible improvements to gameplay and balance, I'd say maybe reduce the effectiveness of Catapults on the player's part. Either by giving them a civ which doesn't get FU Hcat, or by somehow limiting their use. Maybe just some melee cav enemies that make you more likely to hit your own walls would be enough, but I could easily imagine this scenario being more challening if you somehow constrained the player's wood stockpile, maybe giving them a distant storage pit for a slow trickle. Of course that becomes more challening to balance in itself, but I also think it could be an improvement to the challenge factor. Striving to keep the architecture set, maybe make the player Minoan and let them rely on Compies as a spammable ranged unit while making siege more valuable. Beyond having FU siege and the cool looking wonder, there's really no need for the player to be Greek specifically.

Creativity: 4.6
Hm... nothing really revolutionary, but a nice enough mix of existing ideas. Civ choices are quite clearly thought through, and I thought the use of Choson watch towers as outposts (or "informers" as the scenario opts to call them) to give the player some map awareness was particularly clever. Using the timed army arrival as a means of of busting the player out of the siege also resonates particularly well with me.

Map design: 4.9
AoE 1 terrain rendering at its finest, excellent mixing of green and tan on the map and nice forests. There is absolutely nothing to complain about here, but at the same time it's only just a very well rendered small map. Attention has been paid to every area but at the same time it doesn't really have that "epic centerpiece" that makes the player go "wow". Not that every scenario needs to have that kind of thing and in all it can't detract much from this otherwise excellently crafted map.

Story/Instructions: 3.7
Dude, where's the Braavin lore? I loved that shit from 513, where you really felt like you witnessed a small fraction from a well thought out fictional realm. Instructions are short but clear enough for you to know what to expect, hints are pretty useful, and the guy holding the flag in the bitmap image is cool enough to bring the score above average I guess, but really without a story I can't justify this score being a lot higher.
Masked_Pretender
File Author
Hahahha, sorry to force you, but I really needed that! It helps me see where to focus more, and I think we both share many of the same concerns.

I did pick Greeks mostly because of the Wonder and architecture in general, feels more fort-like because of the way the stone defenses look post-iron. However, due to balance issues mentioned, this may change. I'm actually pretty positive it will. I still haven't really figured out the lore, the world that I'm trying to build, so civs may be shuffled a little to accommodate my ever changing vision.

On a less pretentious note, Heavy Catapults do make the game a lot easier, I've noticed that myself. I made the AI train Archers for that reason exactly, but 15 range is hard to beat, even with faster firing Assyrian HA. That part will definitely be nerfed. Also, as you mentioned yourself, cavalry (or infantry, leaning more towards them) banging against your walls would improve immersion and difficulty, since it nerfs a HC based strategy, risking your walls with every shot.

I doubt I'll do any changes regarding resources. The game was intended to be more about action, and trying to survive until the eventual breakout with the help of the coming army. A fort should be well supplied either way. Most balance changes will be focused on unit composition and civilization/tech choices.

Regarding creativity, I wouldn't call myself a revolutionary. The game is older than I am, I'm sure there's dozens of campaigns and scenarios posted here that have done pretty much everything that can be done with the game's limitations. My main focus is just providing a new, fresh experience, with its own little world and quirks. Sometimes all you need is a classic build-and-destroy scenario, no other flavour enhancers. I do have some more unorthodox ideas that I haven't executed yet, but they may be more polarizing than new. I don't particularly mind though - if I think they're fun, then that's all that matters >:]

Map design may be subject to inconsistency throughout the campaign - sometimes I like creating little art pieces, and my maximalist side takes over. But sometimes, I'm more inclined to capture a certain charm - the stock campaign that come with the game, as underdesigned as they are, have an unforgettable look and vibe. That's my biggest concern, that minimalism and maximalism will fight a lot in these scenarios and it may end up an eyesore. I'll try to keep the visuals as cohesive as I can though.

And finally, the lore. I have big plans for the lore, sorry you missed out on this one! I was too excited about sharing it. My writing skills aren't exactly what one would call good, however, I'm fascinated with the idea of creating a world and its lore from the ground up. It's just interesting to me, and I want to do it some justice. When the full campaign is done, I promise you some immersive lore to help the scenario gain some more personality. Until then, I'll be reading a lot of Elder Scrolls books!

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Glad it wasn't a disaster, and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as you did. This game doesn't get enough love, and this effort of mine is my show of love to the game that started it all. Thank you again for reviewing, and keeping the community just a little bit alive ~

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Rating
4.4
Breakdown
Playability4.7
Balance4.1
Creativity4.6
Map Design4.9
Story/Instructions3.7
Statistics
Downloads:50
Favorites: [Who?]0
Size:453.97 KB
Added:08/09/21