Posted on 08/30/07 @ 03:30 PM (updated 11/09/07
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A map of mine for Summer Mapmaking Comptetition 2007
The sun was slowly setting down, painting the top of city walls and housings red when members of the Royal Council of Silvanus has gathered. Fingon of Willowood clan, Lord Chancellor of the Kingdom, sat and looked through the window on the gardens of royal castle. ,,Royal castle we call it, but it has never hosted a monarch” he thought. ,,We call Silvanus a Kingdom, but the throne is empty. King Inioch is long dead, and Queen Elwyn.. she and her Keepers has not accepted the foundation of our realm as a bastion of Elf power against the Human onslaught. We should accept the loss of valley of Wonders and learn to put up with these short-lived, barbaric nuisances, they say. What a nonsense!”
Suddenly, his grim thoughts were interrupted: the large oaken doors slammed and a tall sharp-eyed Elf entered. He was wearing long green cloak, used by Elven rangers, that seemed old and begging for some new patches. He coughed as he looked on empty throne at the top of the round table, and crown and sceptre on it.
- Still playing the comedy, eh? – he said with scorn singing in his voice – Good Lady! I hope you have at least abandoned that dumb custom of bowing before the empty chair...
- Some of us thought that we you must have changed after 50 years spent in in a remote outpost on the Far North – said ironically Aredhel, Highest Primate of Silvanus and second most important member of Royal Council – But I knew you wouldn’t! You arrive late and start meeting of Royal Council by making jokes of very symbols of Crown of Kingdom, and calling Lady’s name in vain... only She knows what of them is worse!
Finbar smiled and bowed slowly.
- Pardon me Your Royal Majesty – he said in ironical tone towards the throne – Such a rude fool of me! One might ask, why has the Royal Council called the fool to arrive in our capital city, Silvanost, instead leaving him to freeze in northern mountains.
- Enough this, Finbar! – shouted Lord Chancellor – I shall not tolerate your irresponsible behaviour anymore! But yes, there is a reason for us to call you. Perhaps you have already heard, but we have been under constant Human pressure on our western borders for several years. Recently, the Humans abandoned any reasonable tactic and started thinklessly pushing army after an army into the unknown forests areas. We won some battles this way, but we were forced to move most of our troops in this area... and missed the real danger growing. To the north, a small group of their troops arrived on banks of Silvan River. The area was inhabited by an Orcish clan long hostile to Humans, and some Dwarven and Halfling societies too, so we hoped they will contain them. How could wrong could we be...
- Let me guess – Finbar interrupted – the Human leader convinced Orcs to ally with him, and together they crushed our allies, didn’t they?
- Yes, exactly. After the human victory many colonists from Valley of Wonders arrived and settled in the area. Then, they have brutally devastated forests in the region and started building a fleet. Very strong fleet. If they complete its construction, they will became masters of Silvan River and thus able to strike unchecked at every part of Silvanus. Our only hope lies in Elves living in the area. They have been divided and scattered since their leader, mighty sorceress Murille, has passed to the Evermore, but they will join us in this time of strife. Only they can strike on Humans before they establish their rule over the River, for doom of us all...
- But such a task requires a strong leader – said the High Primate – who will seek not only to slay enemy chieftains, but to utterly destroy all things Human in the region. Once you were expelled from Royal Council and command of our army because your hatred towards Humans was much stronger than enough to hurt Fair Elf’s soul... but now only you can force the victory on the invaders. Will you dare the perilous quest, Lord Finbar?
The ranger sighed sadly and nodded.
- I will... what else could a man of honour choose? Just give me a fine horse; my own is tired after journey and I’m leaving immediately.
This is the story-driven scenario I was working on all the summer. It’s challenging, comes into three diffficulty versions (Difficult for those who don’t feel completely sure about their playing skills, Very Hard for more advanced people and veterans, and Too Hard for those masters of AoW who eat AI Emperors on breakfast) storyline is, I think, one of the best I’ve written so far, and theer are also some new terrain effects as well as some hidden places for people who like doing some sort of tourism before finishing the map, and some mapmaking tricks not used before to make AI more challenging.
There are some people who have helped me to make this map
Please play with the exact settings given below, else you may spoil the gameplay:
Leaders on the map: On
Customize leaders: Off
Allied victory: doesn’t matter, you won’t have any allies anyway...
(VERY Important!!)In the Too Hard version, hero max level is limited to 10.
I hope all of you the players will enjoy the map! Should you manage to finish it, be sure to post a review, or at least drop an e-mail, I’d love to hear from you!
The map is 100% work of mine, but a few friends have helped me designing it. Engineerd hasn’t actually playtested the map, but he once gave me a lot of highly valuable feedback on my previous map Halfling Wars, which have greatly influenced my style. Dimradil, who volunteered to playtest the map, has given me many hints and more importantly, he discovered some errors in AI behavoiur which I have somehow missed. Hadn’t it been for him, I would have propably found it out too late to repair it. Sincere thanks mate! God bless you for your help, I owe you my map’s life!
Finally, Kanehoe, Deroman, CrazySlyHawk and Lord Naismith have responded to my recent topic on the forums and helped me with an obstacle of creativity which I couldn’t overcome on my own; Medra has helped me with it too. Thanks you a lot guys!
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Wow, the Too Hard version is well named! Loved the map and the story was well put together. I especially liked the special weapon needed to get the prisoners. Great work!
Very well thought out and with the different versions of the map provided the map is playable for all skill levels.
The quest begins at kind of a slow pace gathering units and heroes set to refuge. I guess I found the beginning hero/leader Finbar to be a little overpowered relative to the other leaders. Also the hero found in the woods at the beginning was a little strong for my liking. It was too easy turn them into uberheroes with all the items found in the map.
All I will say here is that this was the most creative items I have ever seen in a map. I am not sure if they all worked properly but I loved them.
Map Design: 4
Well designed start to finish but left me wanting a little more. It was just a little too short for my liking.
Great job here. On par with the best stories ever created for scenarios right up there with my "Cry in the Heartwood Forest" stroy which some have said was the best ever.
If this scenario had been just a little longer I might have scored it a 5 out of 5. Extremely well done Gandalf
Played this map a while ago for Monthly Challenge Jan 2008. After ~20 rounds I stopped trying to get through as fast as possible but instead made it my goal to win this one at all.
At ~80 rounds, only the humans were left, I found out that there is a guild in the N-W corner of the map which would have given me two more lvl 2 cities at the start... well it defiantly gave the map the kick to next difficulty level, to play without them. The hero lvl 10 restriction did its part too. I was lucky to get the humans swimming hero via domination.
Maybe your want to make a version without the guild and give it a difficulty rating Impossible. After all this is the first and up until now last AoW map that ever was a serious challenge.
Thx for this gem of AoW maps!
[Edited on 03/17/08 @ 10:42 AM]