Posted on 07/19/07 @ 02:00 PM (updated 07/20/07
This Scenario is created by Pontius Pilatus AKA Martin Klatt.
I want to extend credits to Joshofet, who was kind enough to test the thing and, after several runs, gave me lots of feedback and useful information to make this a better scenario.
The storyline is about "Hadrian's Wall".
Shortly after the emperor Trajan was succeeded by his ward and heir, Hadrian, work was started at securing the province of Britannia against ferocious barbarians coming from the Scottish Highlands. These untamed Highlanders bravely contested the "Pax Romana", and tried to harass the building of the wall that would stop them from moving freely to the south to claim their "urn of wine" once in a while.
In this scenario, timing is critical. You have ample time to get things in order economically, but military affairs will catch your attention eventually.
Especially after the start of the building of the "Wall" (around 119 AD) invasions of Picts will occur and increase over time, trying to obstruct it. The climax of these invasions will take place around the year 128 AD when the completion of the wall was imminent if not concluded. Make sure you have your defenses in order when the Picts arrive in larger numbers. I suggest a full arrangement of 6 forts with lots of heavily armed and trained legionaires. As the speed of Pictish warriors could be to much for the slow legionaires, I suggest you build a city-wall as well. Remember these guys come from the north mainly, so build your own metropolitan "Hadrian's wall" to do the trick and be safe against all eventualities.
Be wary of your gladiators, they will help you against invaders, but are easily thrown in a revolt of their own. When you least expect or need it they will follow their own destructive nature and wreak havoc in your city.
Make sure you build up trade, especially in the first decade lots of money is to be made from it. Later on taxes will be the key to economic success, as trade revenues will become less reliable.
Load this scenario as saved game.
Don't forget: Picts come from the North.
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It isn't like me to give anything all perfect marks, but in my opinion 4's are too low a rating for this scenario. If it was on a 10 point scale I would give all 9's, but mainly because of the length required to win, and I would be reluctant to give almost anything all 10's.
Apart from the length of time needed to reach the peace requirement I had no issues at all with playing this scenario. That long length in the game causes you to have employee shortages from retirements, so if you use mainly large insulae like I did, I would recommend devolving it systematically around AD 130 or so. I did some of that towards the end, but it was too little too late. I was running around 300 employees short at the end and absorbing it in the entertainment and health/education sectors.
After the main Pict invasions (which were great fun), the almost yearly indigenous uprisings were more annoying to me than challenging. Things got exciting when the natives did NOT come from the North one time, and decided to crash the party my patricians were having in their luxury palaces. If that was intentional rather than random, you got me!
Caesar is one greedy guy in this scenario. His demands (which you have to meet to some degree to reach the high favor requirement) will force you to build a substantial industry. There is also a lot of money to be made in trade. The invasions were tough enough that towers were a practical necessity. So, a very nice balance of military and economic focus.
I have not played any other player generated scenarios before this one, but this scenario is definately good enough to be in the career game, and is more interesting from a story standpoint than most of the career missions, in my opinion. Hadrian's wall is a great choice for a setting.
Map Design: 5
This is the kind of map I was constantly wishing for in the career missions: lots of farmland and forest, and entry and exit points on the map that make trade and immigration very fast. You have to expand into the hinterlands for iron, but that was enjoyably challenging, not frustrating.
Even as a history buff, I couldn't have written it better myself.
This was a great first player generated scenario for me to wet my appetite on.
[Edited on 07/21/07 @ 12:07 PM]
To me, this scenario is so close to being great. In the end, though, I think the military aspect of the game was annoying more than challenging. It was a challenge, but most of the invasions just became a distraction to the game. Most of the native uprisings could be taken out of the game, especially the ones that don’t come from the three northern openings. Running around the map to get to native invasion points was rather annoying.
The Pictish invasions from the north were fun. There could have been more of those, even more back to back invasions to test a player’s ability to layout their own Hadrian’s wall as is described in the instructions. In that way, this scenario could have better focused on its theme.
I’m kind of leaning the same way with the gladiator revolt. More of a distraction than anything else. But I understand if the scenario creator wanted to throw in some flavor.
There were many aspects of this scenario that made it fun, and I will talk about those in other categories, so the playability of the map wasn’t a complete wash, but the way the invasions are done makes me happy that the scenario is over rather than makes me want to play the map again.
There are some great ideas here with map design and the way it ties in with the story.
As listed, the map is hard in my opinion, though it is getting close to more of a normal type difficulty. I enjoyed the quick turn-around trade happening in the south, which was an easy part of the map. Iron in the north and east far from the trade centers made trading weapons a little difficult. Lack of marble mining and some interesting requests made things a bit of a challenge. Some of the invasions were a fun challenge as well. The call for legions and some invasions while my legions were away was also challenging but fun.
Map Design 5
I loved what was done with the entry and exit signs, making it so that the player could not use them for iron mining.
In the north the map design fit the theme of the map quite well. As stated before, the way the entry and exits for the traders made things fun. The way the native huts were placed made things challenging without being annoying. The way the northern part of the map was laid out with the outcropping of rock made making defenses there fun as well.
Well done here. What a nice sum up of the theme of the map.
With native trade very easy to win
Map Design: 5