|Bob the Lethargic
You are the ruler of a small independent Spanish kingdom located between the Carthaginian and Roman spheres of influence. You have pledged a treaty of alliance with Roman in hopes of keeping the local Turdetani tribe from attacking your city. But Hannibal is secretly inciting the Turdetani into attacking your city. He plans to offer them his aid as an excuse to violate the treaty with Rome that ended the 1st Punic War. Since the Turdetani refuse to be pacified, mission posts are useless and therefore not available.
Being a small kingdom, your military resources are limited. Roman engineers have already built the walls, gatehouses, 14 towers, 3 javelin and 1 cavalry fort, a barracks, a military academy, and a road grid needed to start your city. With no weapons available for infantry legions you will have to rely on your javelin and cavalry legions to defend the city. And rumors are circulating throughout Spain that the gladiators plan to revolt and join Hannibal if the opportunity becomes available.
Lack of wine, olives, olive oil, coliseums, and hippodromes severely limit your housing levels. Due to the unstable soil at your riverside location wells, fishing, and bridges are not available in your province. Your task seems daunting.
You must hold off Hannibal until Rome can come to the aid of your city. Can you defeat Hannibal and prevent his march to Italy without using multiple barracks? All of Rome watches Sargentum with baited breath.
Targets: 12 year survival scenario
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Empire Area: Central Province
Goals to Win: 12 year survival
This scenario is rather attractive - I have enjoyed it, although otherwise I prefer peaceful assignments. I would say that it is hard, but surely not very hard. Every governor that has finished military career should be able to survive without problems, though very possibly not at the first attempt (i.e. without reloading after having found out where the invasion will start or without using Invasion Info).
Many military structures are pre-built and disallowed. Even though Caesar won't give you more, money isn't tight. Export of pottery and marble is steady source of income, and as soon as you reach Insulae level, taxes can be larger than workers wages. Anyway, you don't have how to spend the money - city is small, rest of province is governed by natives (mission post not available), and you get 4 forts (without soldiers) in the beginning.
Description is very thorough and includes some tips, as usual in BTL's missions, so that I don't have much left to tell you without spoiling the fun. I will just explain the rating:
Playability : 3
Interesting, enjoyable, but once I have finished it, I didn't feel that I would like to replay it. Terrain features and available buildings make the gameplay different from many other missions, but leave little space for variability.
Creativity : 3
Well - just average. I hoped in more variability in attacks.
Balance : 3
Demands are reasonable, invasions can be defeated. Available space is large enough to build all you need, if you don't waste it. If the scenario wouldn't be claimed as "very hard, possibly not winnable", I would give 4... I was prepared for much harder battles, but they didn't come.
Map design : 4
As I understand the rating system, 5 is reserved for masterpieces ... this map is better than average.
Story/Instructions : 5
Description is outstanding, includes historical background, hints and tips. I wanted to take 1 point off because difficulty is overly stressed - but then decided to leave all 5, as difficulty is very relative thing. I took the point off in Balance instead.
BTW, my final score (in last December) was about 2000 people, 30000 Den., Prosperity 56, Culture and Favor 100, Peace 46.
Tip : Deciding for the result is how quickly you can fill all 6 forts.
Playable? Very!(Bob's playtesting is very thorough)
That's Bob's middlename, this time he balanced (un)winnable.
How creative can you be letting elephants stampede? Bob knows.
Map Design: 4
Just a penalty for parklandscaping(fairyland neat)
There is one, and a walkthrough(why Bob?)
Sargentum by BTL.
Sargentum is a controlled environment to test defensestrategies. A not to big size map
so you can switch easily between the hotspots and easy to handle for slower pc's.
Bob likes to orchestrate things for the player and this is a prime example of it.
Everything is neatly in place, the dockspot, the marblespots(one near the dock),
the walls(a tiny bit off, but you can't replace towers just rearrange walls),the barracks,
the military academy, just enough farmland, just enough space for additional forts, ample room for housing(a surplus really),
4 forts allready built, reservoirs in place, a starting housingblock with fountain and
behind the walls a hostile environment(nativeland).
What he gives he even better taketh away: you can't build a barracks, military academy,
towers, lionpits, missions and fishingwharves.Iron and weapons(legionaires) are absent. Gladiatorschools can be built, but you
are warned beforehand that a gladiatorrevolt will take place(the risk is yours).
Until the first enemyinvasion you just have time to fill up the forts available and, if you
can, build and fill two more(you won't make it in time) or man the towers and walls(choose carefully).
Just everything is set and if you follow slavishly, your fate is set too.
This was just a doom intro, but actually it is just a perfectly balanced, annoyingly-agreeable,
playable, unwinnable(think again, it can be done), nicelooking(I envy Bob on this one),ready to chew-kind of a scenario.
Is it something to recommend?
Playable? Very!(Bob's playtesting is very thorough) 4.0
Mapdesign? Just a penalty for parklandscaping(fairyland neat) 4.0
Creativity? How creative can you be letting elephants stampede? Bob knows. 4.0
Balance? That's Bob's middlename, this time he balanced (un)winnable. 5.0
Story/Description. There is one, and a walkthrough(why Bob?) 3.0
I say, yes.
P.S. Did I tell about the elephants? If you want them, there all here.
[This message has been edited by Pontius Pilatus (edited 05-05-99).]